Katie Sowers made history as one of the NFL’s first full-time female coaches, and as its first openly gay coach, but she won’t be back with the 49ers next year. Sowers is parting ways with San Francisco, she announced on Instagram. “Dear Faithful,
We have been through so much together over the last 4 years and words will never express how much your love and acceptance meant to me. I will forever cherish the memories and hearing your stories throughout the years. Together, we made a difference in this world. You were there every step of the way..from my first day at Levi’s , to the super bowl, and even when my Dad passed away. You all supported me through it all. Change is inevitable in this life.. enjoy every minute and cherish the memories because time will pass you by faster than you know. One last walk out of the tunnel. I am forever grateful for my time in SF… until we meet again,” she wrote.
Sowers became the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl last year. She’s been a full-time offensive assistant on Kyle Shanahan’s staff the past few seasons. It doesn’t sound like she has any plans to stop coaching though, and she said in a recent interview with Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle that the lack of a clear path upward was the reason for her departure. “In terms of advancement opportunities, there are more other places than here, in terms of my ceiling for growth. I feel like I have a lot to offer. It’s been an amazing learning experience here, but instead of staying as is, it’s best for my professional growth if I move on.” That doesn’t mean it was a bitter divorce with the 49ers however, as Sowers emphasized that she “loved” her time there.
Here’s more from the NFC West:
- Sowers might not be the only staff member Shanahan needs to replace if defensive coordinator Robert Saleh lands a head coaching job. Should one of the handful of teams interviewing Saleh offer him the gig, it sounds like the 49ers could look in-house for his replacement. Linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans is a candidate for the DC role should that happen, Shanahan said at his year-end press conference. Shanahan also added that “it’s a matter of time before DeMeco is coordinator in this league, a matter of time before he’s a head coach.” Ryans played as a linebacker for ten years in the league with the Texans and Eagles before retiring and joining the 49ers as a quality control coach in 2017.
- The Cardinals are keeping Kliff Kingsbury, but his staff isn’t remaining entirely intact. The team is letting receivers coach David Raih go, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Raih spent the past two years in Arizona after previously serving the same role in Green Bay.
- The Cardinals also have a bigger decision ahead of them, what to do with star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson is set to be a free agent this spring, and he recently acknowledged he might’ve played his last down in the desert. “Everything is going to take care of itself. I’ve done all I can to present that I would love to be here. But at the end of the day, it’s up to (the Cardinals),” Peterson said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site (Twitter link). Peterson also said the potential salary cap drop due to COVID-19 could play a role in where he lands this offseason. Drafted fifth overall by Arizona back in 2011, Peterson has become a franchise icon over the past ten seasons. He’s made eight Pro Bowls and earned three first-team All-Pro selections, but he hasn’t been as good the past couple of years and is now on the wrong side of 30. It’ll be very interesting to see what his market looks like come March.